We once again boarded the bus for a 2 hour trip to Florence. Home during the Renaissance to the powerful Medici family of bankers. To show their power they commissioned artists to complete amazing paintings and sculptures… you may have heard of “some guy” named Michelangelo… he completed the David sculpture for the Medicis. Our Tour Director took us to the ticket place to see if there were any tickets available to get in to see the statue of David today. Why the rush, because much of the group is going to Pisa tomorrow and would miss the opportunity (those not going to Pisa are going to the statue tomorrow). At first the staff said there weren’t any tickets but then as we stayed and “begged,” they “found” 22 spots available at 5:30pm. That meant that everyone who wanted to see the statue and other pieces of art, could!
It was a wonderful experience because the hall where the David statue is located was not very crowded. By controlling the number of tickets and times, it helped to make it a great experience for everyone. We were able to get right up to the statue. Beautiful. We also liked being able to see the partially finished creations to see the raw stone blocks and then a finished section. It must have been quite something to see David come to life with Michelangelo as the creator.
Also in the museum was a section dedicated to musical instruments. Some dated back to the 13th century. Many of the pieces were 18th and 19th century. A couple of the photos show some of the more… “interesting” instruments. A Hurdy-gurdy is a stringed instrument that produces sound by a hand crank-turned, rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to those of a violin. Melodies are played on a keyboard that presses tangents—small wedges, typically made of wood—against one or more of the strings to change their pitch. Like most other acoustic stringed instruments, it has a sound board and hollow cavity to make the vibration of the strings audible (at least that's what Wiki says). and a guitar with some piano keys.
We met back with everyone in the town square and had a chance to have a closer look at the cathedral which is home to Brunelleschi’s famed dome. "Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower") is the main church of Florence, Italy. Il Duomo di Firenze, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style with the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris.
The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile. These three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major attraction to tourists visiting Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed (Thanks again Wiki).
A short walk to dinner and then another walk to the bus, short ride and we arrived at the hotel about 9pm.
Another typical EF Tour day… lots of walking, activities, education experiences and a chance to meet new and interesting people in our group. The folks from Saskatchewan and Nashville are great!
FitBit count today was between 14300 (tall person – no, not me) and 15900 (short person – someone other than me)!
Hover your mouse over the photos for an explanation.